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Coronavirus - Dublin to move to Level Three: Implications for Businesses - Ireland

  • Ireland
  • Coronavirus - Country overview
  • Coronavirus - Return to work
  • Employment law


The government confirmed on Friday 18 September that Dublin has been elevated to Level Three of the Plan for Living with Covid-19 due to rising cases in the capital. The new restrictions took effect at midnight on Friday and will last for three weeks (until Friday, 9 October).

The following is an overview of some of the key implications which may affect businesses.

Work: Under Level Two, employees were advised to work from home “if possible”. Level Three takes a stricter approach and provides that employees should work from home “unless absolutely necessary”. Employers should therefore continue to facilitate home working where possible and ensure that employees only attend the workplace in person for the prescribed necessary reasons.

Public Transport: Under Level Two, public transport for essential purposes was restricted to peak hours. Under Level three, public transport should only be used by essential workers and only for essential purposes. Capacity of public transport is restricted to 50% and the public is advised to walk or cycle where possible. If an employee is required to attend the workplace, employers should consider whether or not an employee will use need to use public transport to travel and whether alternatives could be considered.

Domestic Travel: Under Level Three, domestic travel should not take place outside of Dublin apart from work, education and other essential purposes. Employees may travel to and from Dublin to attend the workplace if home-working is not possible or if it is absolutely necessary.

Indoor/Outdoor Gatherings: Under Level Three, no organised indoor gatherings should take place. This includes business events, training events, conferences, events in theatres, cinemas and other Arts events. Organised outdoor gatherings of up to 15 people are permitted.

Bars, Cafes and Restaurants: Under Level Three, bars, cafes and restaurants may stay open but with additional restrictions. Indoor dining is not permitted and pubs and restaurants may only offer outdoor dining to a maximum number of 15 people at any one time. Takeaway and delivery services are still available. Pubs and bars not serving food (“wet bars”) will remain closed in Dublin beyond 21 September.

Hotels and Accommodation: Under Level Three, hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs will remain open but services are limited to residents.

Retail Services: Under Level Three, retail and personal services, such as hairdressers and beauticians, may continue to stay open with protective measures in place.

Indoor Museums, Galleries and other Cultural Attractions: Under Level Three, all such venues will close and only libraries will remain open for e-services and call and collect.

The rest of the counties in Ireland remain at Level Two and travel to Dublin from other counties should not take place.

For more information, please contact

Joanne Hyde, Partner and Head of Employment -

Julie Galbraith, Partner in Employment -

Ciara McMahon, Associate in Employment -

For support on legal issues facing your business in light of the outbreak of Covid-19, please visit our Coronavirus hub to get our latest information and guidance.